News | November 22, 2016
Every year, Las Vegas Sands conducts their Responsible Gaming Ambassador Training at all properties, where Responsible Gaming Ambassadors are trained to detect problem gambling issues with their guests, maintaining a safe environment for patrons as well as its Team Members. Identifying issues with problem gaming has been an initiative that the company has taken very seriously and was developed as part of Las Vegas Sands’ “Play Responsibly” initiative, the program developed by Dr. Bo Bernhard, Executive Director of the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) International Gaming Institute.
“Ambassadors are trained to identify issues that come with problem gaming and address the patron in a professional manner,” Maria Christina Annaloro, Manager of Responsible Gaming and Government Relations, said. “They are to address any comments that may be alarming and guide the patron to play responsibly. Our goal is to address the problem and get them help, not just kick them out of the casino.”
Las Vegas Sands partners with various treatment centers in the communities in which we operate in order to get help for guests and provide a positive and safe environment for all to enjoy. Team Members are trained in conversation skills to address the issue, provide help if needed, and guide guests to treatment if necessary.
“This is what differentiates us from other gaming company’s all over the world,” Annaloro said. “We always provide a help line, recovery options and even family programs if they have children in their household. We partner with various treatment centers depending on the issue. Our job is make sure there’s no problem gambling within our properties.”
Sands China Ltd recently held its training program at The Venetian Macao. Certificates issued by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) were presented to nearly 80 participating Team Members, who came from the gaming operations, security and human resources departments to attend one of two training sessions.
“Each year, this training program helps our Team Members gain and strengthen a practical set of skills and knowledge on responsible gaming,” said Sean McCreery, Senior Vice President of Table Games for Sands China Ltd. “Minimizing the social impact of problem gaming and contributing to the quality of life in Macao is very important to Sands China, and this responsible gaming ambassador training program is one of our most successful efforts and is also an important part of the company’s support of the DICJ’s responsible gaming measures.”
In Macao, the program is delivered by Bernhard along with local scholar Prof. Davis Fong, and senior counselors from responsible gaming service provider Sheng Kung Hui (SKH) Macau Social Services Coordination Office. To date, over 360 Team Members in Macao have attended training sessions and more than 1,700 hours of training have been provided through the annual campaign. In addition, Sands China has established long-term cooperation with local non-profit organizations and academic institutions to help minimize the social impact of problem gaming. Since 2006, the company has contributed over MOP 3.95 million to various organizations as part of its ongoing support of responsible gaming initiatives in Macao.
“This was my fourth time participating in the training, and I feel more confident in my skills each year,” said Martin Ieong, one of the participants. “The program is really presented quite well, and helps me be able to serve our guests better.”
At Marina Bay Sands, with over 450 Responsible Gambling Ambassadors, Team Members help protect guests through the adoption of responsible gaming measures validated by scientific research and the rigorous implementation of the program. In conjunction with Responsible Gaming week, 92 Marina Bay Sands Team Members were newly certified as ambassadors. The program aims to equip all participants with the practical skills needed to interact and communicate with patrons exhibiting signs of problem gambling, as well as provide assistance in moments of distress.
“Our RG Ambassadors are instrumental in helping Marina Bay Sands realize its Responsible Gambling vision,” Risen Tan, Director of Casino Compliance and Responsible Gambling, said. “We strive to be recognized by all stakeholders as a responsible and trusted casino gambling operator.”